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About the Forecast Forum

ENSO Forecast Discussion

ENSO and SST Model Forecasts

Canonical Correlation Model
Nino 3.4 Region: Historical  F1
Nino 3.4 Region: 0-4 Season  F2

NCEP Coupled Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F3
Nino 3 & Nino 3.4 Region  F4

NCEP Markov Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F5
Nino 3.4 Region  F6

LDEO Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Wind Stress Anoms  F7
Nino 3 Region  F8

Linear Inverse Modeling
Global Tropical SST Anomalies  F9
Nino 3.4 Region: Historical  F10

Scripps/MPI Hybrid Coupled Model
Eq. Pac. SST & Anomalies  F11

All Nino Regions & SOI  F12

IRI Compilation of Forecasts
Nino3.4 Region  F13

Forecast Forum



Forecast Forum

The canonical correlation analysis (CCA) forecast of SST in the central Pacific (Barnett et al. 1988, Science, 241, 192‑196; Barnston and Ropelewski 1992, J. Climate, 5, 1316‑1345), is shown in Figs. F1 and F2. This forecast is produced routinely by the Prediction Branch of the Climate Prediction Center. The predictions from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Coupled Forecast System Model (CFS03) are presented in Figs. F3 and F4a, F4b.  Predictions from the Markov model (Xue, et al. 2000: J. Climate, 13, 849‑871) are shown in Figs. F5 and F6.   Predictions from the latest version of the LDEO model (Chen et al. 2000: Geophys. Res. Let., 27, 2585‑2587) are shown in Figs. F7 and F8.  Predictions using linear inverse modeling (Penland and Magorian 1993: J. Climate, 6, 1067‑1076) are shown in Figs. F9 and F10. Predictions from the Scripps / Max Planck Institute (MPI) hybrid coupled model (Barnett et al. 1993: J. Climate, 6, 1545‑1566) are shown in Fig. F11.  Predictions from the ENSO‑CLIPER statistical model (Knaff and Landsea 1997, Wea. Forecasting, 12, 633‑652) are shown in Fig. F12.  Niño 3.4 predictions are summarized in Fig. F13, provided by the Forecasting and Prediction Research Group of the IRI.

The CPC and the contributors to the Forecast Forum caution potential users of this predictive information that they can expect only modest skill.


ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch




There is an approximately 65% chance that El Niño conditions will be present during the Northern Hemisphere winter and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.




            During November 2014, sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies increased across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (Fig. T18). The monthly Niño indices were +0.7°C in the Niño-1+2 region and +0.9°C in all other regions (Table T2). The subsurface heat content anomalies (averaged between 180º-100ºW) also increased during November as a downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave increased subsurface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).  However, the overall atmospheric circulation has yet to show a clear coupling to the anomalously warm waters. The monthly equatorial low-level winds were largely near average, although weak anomalous westerlies appeared in a portion of the eastern tropical Pacific (Fig. T13). Upper level easterly anomalies emerged in the central and eastern tropical Pacific during the month (Fig. T21). The Southern Oscillation Index has been somewhat negative (Table T1), but the equatorial Southern Oscillation Index has been near zero (Fig. T2). Also, rainfall continued to be below average near the Date Line and over Indonesia, and near average east of the Date Line (Fig. T25).  Although the SST anomalies alone might imply weak El Niño conditions, the patterns of wind and rainfall anomalies generally do not clearly indicate a coupling of the atmosphere to the ocean. Therefore, despite movement toward El Niño from one month ago, the combined atmospheric and oceanic state remains ENSO-neutral.

Similar to last month, most models predict SST anomalies to be at weak El Niño levels during November-January 2014-15 and to continue above the El Niño threshold into early 2015 (Figs. F1-F13). Assuming that El Niño fully emerges, the forecaster consensus favors a weak event. In summary, there is an approximately 65% chance of El Niño conditions during the Northern Hemisphere winter, which are expected to last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

            Weekly updates of oceanic and atmospheric conditions are available on the Climate Prediction Center homepage (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions).



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Page Last Modified: December 2014
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